I watched several more Monk episodes today, read Negima book 9 and Prince of Tennis book 11, and threw out most of the garbage from the front closet in the apartment. As I was arriving there, my next-door neighbor asked me if I had a plunger. I didn't (not there, anyway), but I offered to drive her to the mall to get one. We chatted for a bit, and when she stopped to show a friend her piercings, I had to ask "Do you want to hear some swear words?" Ah, that Monk. Actually, it wasn't really awkward, but something bothers me about talking to people who live paycheck to paycheck or are on special programs for low-income families or are working their way through school, because I'm very aware of how well off I am, and I worry that people will think less of me because I have a better situation. I worked hard to be where I am, but I can't really say that I earned all of it. I still have quite a few things that were gifts, and all of my schooling was paid in full as part of the divorce settlement. (After the scholarships, of course, but it was still expensive.) I did try to get jobs in college, but they wouldn't accept me because I didn't qualify for need-based aid, and Dad wanted me to concentrate on my academics rather than letting a job distract me from them. From there, I pretty much started from the ground up. I built up my finances by spending as little as possible, then lost my job and had to use those savings to tide me over until I found another job, blew the rest of it on car repairs, and practically started from zero until the new job had filled my bank account a bit. I had to buy a new car and paid it off in a year with no assistance other than the bank loan, and if not for a VERY sizeable loan that I gave a friend in need, I'd have been able to buy this condo with no assistance either. (It would have been very tight for a while, but I'd have bridged the gap somehow.) It's not that I feel guilty about it, but the general social awkwardness of having a bit of a Monk streak in me combined with the assumption that the person I'm talking to sees it as unfair that I'm so much better off than they are has about the same effect. I don't think I let it show. I hope I don't. My life is my life. I have a certain amount of money, I spend a large portion of it on certain types of entertainment, and I own the place where I live now, as long as I continue to make the mortgage payments, which will be automatic as long as I keep my job. The job that even I wasn't sure I could handle at first, but I've proven myself to myself as much as to the government, and now I have the confidence to take on any task (within certain limits... and I'm willing to go outside those limits if I can get the resources I need and the time to learn how to use them). I can joke around with people in social situations, even if my lame attempts at stand-up comedy are about as funny as microwaving a kitten. And no, I'm not so loaded that I throw money at everything. Sometimes, jokes like "that person can afford to buy thousands of the thing she's suing over" bother me, when it's obviously not true. To quote from Monk again, although from a guest character: "This is HOW millionaires become millionaires."
That was probably deeper than you wanted, but I didn't write an entry about penguins tonight. I'm not sure people are really noticing the entries I've been posting in response to the meme. Not that most of them comment much anyway.
I also felt a little guilty about pointing out that an otherwise innocent picture with Japanese text, posted on a family-friendly forum with a caption "I wonder if anyone can tell us what the Japanese text says," and text including AF, ろり, and ぶっかけ didn't really belong there. An airbrushed version was posted shortly thereafter, with no text, and the caption had been changed to "I guess we didn't really want to know what the text said." Naturally, I saved a copy in case I feel like trying to translate some of the kanji... I think it says something about "Indians (as in people from India) and yoga frame/flame". So what IS "AF", or do I not want to know?
Oh, and progress in KH2. I got up to round 40, where I had to fight Cloud and Leon at the same time. They weren't THAT hard given the constraints, but I didn't notice the timer until I'd barely managed to beat Cloud. Looks like conserving health isn't going to cut it. I also need to equip my Form Boosts, and probably the weapon with Form Boost as well, to have a chance at that one. Final Form is great except for the short duration. The previous pairing of Tifa and Cloud was evil, too... but figuring out how to beat Pete without taking many hits was a big plus. Soon, I will see what lies beyond round 40, and what final boss they could possibly throw at me that would top the ones I've had to fight in pairs. Then again, I believe the original Hades Cup (in the first Kingdom Hearts) had Hades as the penultimate boss and the laughable Rock Titan ("Ooh, look at me! I have wimpy attacks and fall like a ton of bricks in about three minutes!") as the final boss. *sigh* And the score I need to achieve by the end of the tournament is a joke. Just getting through the Titan Cup rules part pretty much accomplishes that. Unless it really is random and I'll end up having to fight Tifa under Titan rules. Um, no. Also, I hate Tifa so much. Cloud is a pansy, and Leon never really did much, but Tifa has way too many attacks and not enough vulnerable time or angles. Hello? Take damage sometime please.